Reviews Pallbearer Sorrow And Extinction


Sorrow And Extinction

Arkansas residents Pallbearer have been a band to watch out for ever since the release of a fantastic three track demo in 2010. Featuring two original compositions ("Devoid of Redemption" and "The Legend" having been re-recorded for this release) and a cover track, this demo served to have many take note of this doom-laden quartet and the hopes for a full length were always at the forefront of minds. Through many a twist and turn, Sorrow and Extinction finally sees the light of day. Pallbearer are here, and oh, how they have arrived.

The slow burning opener "Foreigner" begins with a gentle acoustic sweetness, already astounding in it's beauty whilst slowly a grand and heavy drum (Zach Stine behind the kit for these recordings) beat builds and sits gracefully behind the lightly struck notes. The fuzzy and distorted guitar (Devin Holt and Brett Campbell) tone cracks the stillness and the divinely soaring and sadness tinged vocal of Campbell bursts through, his voice holding an innate power to move. A voice drawn in pain and elemental despair, covering vast oceans of despondence with even the slightest of tonal inflections to hint at lyrical content. Pallbearer have never laid down explicitly what their songs could be about, although the deep sense of loss and melancholy is there for all to hear. Even the album's title, Sorrow and Extinction explains everything and yet somehow nothing at all. This is a record of somber quality, almost unfathomable in the emotional depth held within. The tender soul and warm richness of the instrumentation serves to imbue this piece with genuine and intense lamentation. It is quite astounding in delivery and effect.

The absolutely crushing nature of this record resonates acutely through "Devoid of Redemption," the extreme weight of sound echoes in the huge walls of jagged guitar and intensely thick reverb charged bass lines. Fantastically climbing solos punctuate the hefty and processional pace. This track along with "The Legend" are songs that appeared on the initial Pallbearer demo, and it's testament to the significance poured into the words that these pieces of work have followed the band through time, now being three plus years old, and still having a vast relevance to the Pallbearer of today. For this group, memories of the past still whisper and echo even now, and it's clear the songs found on Sorrow and Extinction have a far greater intimacy that as a listener, one could never dream of grasping. Quite astonishing.

Whilst being rooted firmly in the "traditional" spectrum of the doom genre, other musical influences are quite apparent. "An Offering Of Grief" has a light progressive and even psychedelic element to the undertones, tripped out guitar lines shimmering through the immensely bass (Joseph D.Rowland) heavy weight of the song. Pallbearer are a group to wear their influences proudly (the most obvious being Black Sabbath), yet they are completely able to break free of such comparisons and stand their ground as a fresh addition to the despair adorned halls of a magical genre. Funereal aspects seep through, most notably on "Given To The Grave," a slow sense of dread and foreboding creeping in during to the mid-section. Gorgeously full solos sweep, conveying an immense gloom yet never losing sight of hope. The track also ushers in a suitably enthralling choral accompaniment; the swell of sublime voices building up a bittersweet anguish, carrying the closing moments of this song to a majestic conclusion and this debut to a heartrending finale.

It's incredible to see a band this early on in their career speak with such wisdom, and be able to wrench such emotion and touch quite so profoundly. It's genuinely remarkable to think that this is only their first full recording, and where the band go from here is certainly an exciting prospect. Sorrow and Extinction is a record to fall into, the themes held within are universal and immersive and such that Pallbearer have transcended all, and are able to break even the coldest of souls. Magnificent.

9.5 / 10Cheryl
KFAI - Undead
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9.5 / 10

9.5 / 10

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